Have you heard about the Real Wealth Strategist scam? Is it a scam? In this post I take a deep dive into a product that will either make you millions or help you lose a ton of money.
If there’s one thing that can stop a promising entrepreneur in their tracks, it’s the Get Rich Quick scheme. I’ve been sucked in by more than a few in my time. It took me many years to fully understand that ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’.
Real Wealth Strategist is a subscription-only newsletter that is delivered to your email inbox every month. As one of those glitzy financial advice newsletters, it’s quite convincing, so naturally I wanted to find out more. Is it a scam? Can you make millions in days with it?
Let’s find out.
- Real Wealth Strategist: What Is It?
- Matt Badiali: Who Is He?
- The Banyan Hill Publishing Company
- Why Should You Subscribe?
- How much does Real Wealth Strategist cost?
- Policy on cancellations
- Real Wealth Strategist: Is it Legit?
- How Easy Is It to Make Money With This Newsletter?
- The verdict
Real Wealth Strategist: What Is It?
It’s a monthly newsletter that is aimed at the new stock market investor. The newsletter contains tips on investment opportunities that are designed to help you pick stocks and make financial decisions that will make you huge returns. The writer of the newsletter is Matt Badiali. He’s an accomplished financial analyst who has seen a lot of success in many industries. In other words, he’s qualified to offer investment advice and offer valuable information.
The newsletter is interesting because of the kind of stocks it recommends through the model portfolio method. Badiali is an expert in natural resource stocks like copper, gold and iron. These are the kinds of stocks Real Wealth Strategist recommends. Matt Badiali himself invests in this area heavily.
The reason why I’m looking at this newsletter and thinking ‘scam’ is because Banyan Hill, the publisher, markets it that way.
Matt Badiali: Who is he?
I found some info on Matt at Streetwise Reports:
Matt Badiali is the founder and CEO of Mangrove Investor Media, an independent investment research publisher. He is a geologist by education, an investment analyst by profession, and a writer by nature. He began researching and writing about natural resource investments in 2004. His research has appeared in Bloomberg, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.
He’s accomplished, and he’s been published in major publications. He has said he wants to provide ‘hedge-fund quality’ ideas for retail investors. He is heavily involved in the natural resources industries, such as precious metals, and meets with CEOs of this industry often.
Basically, he’s an expert in natural resources investing.
The Banyan Hill publishing company
The company that created and marketed Real Wealth Strategist is Banyan Hill. They publish a number of newsletters on financial planning and provide various memberships for new and experienced investors. These newsletters and memberships are based on giving you ‘tips’ on which investments to make and which to avoid.
Unfortunately, after a Reddit search and a few more hours scraping around online, it was hard to find anything positive about Banyan Hill. This doesn’t necessarily mean the company is criminal or a scam company, but it does mean that it has problems with customer relations.
But let’s take a closer look at the company.
It was founded in 1998 and became Banyan Hill Publishing in 2016. It currently claims to have around 700,000 daily readers (it publishes the Banyan Edge, a free daily email newsletter). The company was named after the Banyan tree, a very sturdy tree that often remains standing after natural disaters. So yeah, solidity and trust.
The company is essentially a group of financial experts who have, it’s true, made a lot of money for themselves through their investments. The pedigree of the company and the experts is actually sound. They’ve been on all the major financial news outlets and written respected books on finance and investing.
Even better, the testimonials on their website are exciting and promise big gains. For example, one testimonial claims insanely high returns:
“At the end of August , my 401K was $659,000. Now, on September 4th , it’s $715,000. My account is up $56,000 in the last 5 days!”
“I couldn’t believe it … in just 2 months, I made $298,506 on one stock – that’s a 24% gain!”
If the company was pplacing fake reviews on the website, it would get into serious trouble. So this looks like the real deal.
Should you subscribe?
It has to be noted that Real Wealth Strategist is no longer being published. You can still find some copies on the website but for obvious reasons, it probably isn’t a good idea to invest in anything that is no longer relevant (Badiali left Banyan Hill in 2020).
While newsletters aren’t being edited by Badiali at Banyan Hill, there are still plenty of newsletters to choose from. So I’m going to take a look at what happened with Real Wealth Strategist and then focus on the Banyan Hill company overall.
Real Wealth Strategist scam: How much did it cost?
Membership at the Standard level cost $47 per month. All that included access to the newsletter, which was published once a month. Alternatively, you could subscribe to the letter on a monthly basis, or for a yearly subscription. The product was simple and straight-forward, which was perfect if you just wanted the basics.
As a result of the subscription cost being set to auto-renew, the Standard Edition did include email reminders when it was published. Prior to the renewal date, you would want to cancel the letter if you stopped reading it.
Premium memberships, sometimes called gold memberships, cost $79 per month.
In addition, this package included additional “free” reports.
As part of the Deluxe edition, you received the monthly newsletter, a portfolio with buy and sell tables, weekly podcasts, as well as access to the previous newsletters. Aside from that, Matt himself sent you monthly trade alerts, which were his personal recommendations for current natural resources trades.
Real Wealth Strategist scam: Policy on cancellations
Here’s where things got a little sticky.
When you read Banyan Hill reviews, you’d quickly notice that many people tried to cancel but were unsuccessful. There were some reviewers who were fortunate enough to cancel on the first attempt.
This letter did auto-renew, so buyers should have read the fine print to ensure they weren’t signing up for other Banyan Hill letters in addition to the Real Wealth Strategist. The company might offer these letters for “free,” but they would put your card on auto-renew as separate transactions.
To put it simply, cancelling was like pushing water up a hill.
So, was it legit?
Matt Badiali’s content is no longer available, so it’s hard to tell if he was writing it out of his own convictions, or just to earn his paycheck. I’m not a professional financial analyst, so I couldn’t give you a confident answer on this one.
Remember, the one thing that financial newsletters can’t do is promise or guarantee that you’ll make an investment on something, so the fact that they deal in uncertain terms isn’t the red flag, it’s their method of advertising the product and how they treat consumers before they’ve purchased and when they wish to cancel.
Real Wealth Strategist scam: Could you actually make money with this newsletter?
Yes, you could make money with the Real Wealth Strategist newsletter. There was huge potential there. But you could and still can with any investing materials and tips. Making huge amounts of money through passive income is not guaranteed, but this type of newsletter exists for a reason. The people who write them generally know what they are talking about.
But they don’t tell you one crucial secret.
New investors need to know that you can make money on newsletters like Real Wealth Strategist over time. You will make losses and you will make some wins. Hopefully, like with all investment strategies, the winning days will eventually outweigh the losses. You can see financial success, but it can take time. In that sense, a newsletter like this is a good opportunity.
The people who have won big and saw huge returns on their investment decisions have two things in their favor:
- They have a significant amount of money to invest. You don’t make any real money unless you are prepared to invest a lot of money.
- They lose some money along the way. Yes, they make a lot of money at some point in their journey, but they will also lose money. And past performance of stocks doesn’t necessarily mean more success to come.
Real Wealth Strategist scam: The verdict
You know me. I aim to be honest at all times.
Real Wealth Strategist was technically not a scam. Investors should always expect to lose money, and like any other investment strategy, no promises were ever made about the amount of money you would see.
However, the difficulty with cancellations and the price of the various levels of membership were a clear problem. If you find yourself looking at a newsletter or any other investment opportunity, always carry out some due diligence.
A quick guide for new investors
If you’re thinking of investing some of your money any time soon, take a look at the following tips.
Is risk something you can handle?
How much risk are you willing to take when investing (the chance of losing money)? It is possible to categorize stocks in a variety of ways, such as large cap stocks, small cap stocks, aggressive growth stocks, and value stocks. Risk levels vary among them. You can set your investment goals once you determine your level of risk tolerance.
Make a decision about your investment goals
Identifying your investment goals is also important. Online brokers ask you about your investment goals (and your willingness to accept risk) when opening an account.
- In the beginning of your career, you may want to increase your savings account balance. Increasing income, growing wealth, and protecting it are all important if you are older.
- Saving for college, buying a house, or funding your retirement are just some of the investment goals you might have. Changing goals is part of life. To stay focused on achieving them, make sure you define and review them periodically.
Decide what type of investor you are
Investors can either actively manage their investments or set it and forget it. Regardless of your preference, decide on a starting point.
- As long as you’re confident about your own investing knowledge and capabilities, you could manage your portfolio on your own.
- Making investment decisions, monitoring your portfolio, and making changes to it can be made easier with the help of an experienced broker or financial advisor. Beginners who want help investing with an expert can take advantage of this option.
- Robo-advisors are automated, hands-off options that are usually less expensive than working with a broker. A robo-advisor program invests automatically once it knows your goals, risk tolerance level, and other details.